I am writing to inform you that the Department of Social Services is proposing to make two changes to Connecticut’s TANF State Plan.
The first is to add a new component to our TANF Outreach program known as the “Help for People in Need” program. A change recommended by the Governor in her proposed budget, this is a new informational brochure that will be sent to all existing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly Food Stamps) recipients and new SNAP participants. By providing this TANF service to all SNAP recipients they will qualify as “categorically eligible” for the SNAP program. This will allow us to increase the gross income limit in the SNAP program from 130% to 185% of the federal poverty level effective July 1, 2009. In addition it will eliminate the asset test in the SNAP program. This will permit many working families and individuals to continue receiving benefits and will also allow many low-income elderly individuals with assets above the regular $3,000 SNAP asset limit, to qualify for SNAP program benefits.
The second change is a revision to the description of those non-citizens whose medical assistance is funded by TANF. The recently enacted federal Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) included a provision, effective April 1, 2009, to allow certain legal non-citizens to qualify for Medicaid (HUSKY A) coverage without having to wait until they have been US residents for five years. This includes children under the age of 21, pregnant women and post-partum women. Since these individuals, formerly covered with TANF MOE funds, will now be covered by Medicaid we have revised our description of the TANF program for non-citizen families to omit reference to these individuals. The TANF program will now only cover the parents and other caretaker relatives of HUSKY children.
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